Matthaei Botanical Gardens has started remodeling to convert the coat room and adjacent storage room to a handicap-accessible ramp connecting the main lobby with the classroom hallway. This will impact our meeting on February 15, and possibly the March 15 meeting as well. The impacts are as follows:

  • To get to the meeting room, you must enter at the front lobby. Do not enter at the west lobby (closest entrance to the large parking lot), as you will find the hallway blocked due to the construction and you will not be able to get to the main lobby or the meeting room. 
  • The existing men's bathrooom adjacent to the main lobby has been temporarily converted to a women's bathroom for the duration of the construction. 
  • The only operational men's bathroom is accessible from the west lobby. To use the men's room, you must exit the building at front and walk outside to enter at the west lobby. 
  • The sidewalk from the west parking lot and west lobby has no lighting. If this concerns you, bring a flashlight. 

This year we are trying something new: online registration for the Ann Arbor Christmas Bird Count. This is how we prefer that everyone register, as it will give us a complete (or mostly complete) database of participants and contact information. To register:

-->CLICK HERE!<--

For more information, visit our Christmas Bird Count page

This upcoming June, WAS will be offering its 6th international field trip, this time to the bird-rich European country of Spain. We will spend 10 days (June 20-29, 2017) birding a variety of habitats in search of as many species we can, focusing on the birds unique to this part of the world. We start in the hilly grasslands of central Spain looking for birds such as Great Bustard, Little Bustard, Iberian Magpies, Hoopoes, European Bee-eaters and many others.

On Saturday, December 3, 2016, this annual trip is a favorite for hard-core WAS members. Because access to the landfill is restricted, we rent vans for the trip and have to limit the number of participants. First priority goes to Washtenaw Audubon members who have not recently been on this trip. Second priority will be given to Washtenaw Audubon members who have previously attended this trip. Non-members may be placed on a wait list on a first come, first served basis and will be admitted three days before the trip to fill any remaining spots. There are 20 spots available.

by CBC Compiler, Jacco Gelderloos

Online registration is new this year! CLICK HERE!

As I sit here behind my computer, I cannot help but chuckle at the somewhat surreal circumstance of writing this year’s CBC article after an (almost) 80-degree day! Then again, temperatures are forecast to drop this weekend, and the first of the season’s Dark-eyed Juncos have been reported. In short, winter is irrevocably on its way!

Led by Don Chalfant, this is a low-key international competition that Don has participated in for the past 14 years. The task is to try to identify by sight or sound as many bird species as possible while remaining in a circle of 17 feet in diameter. For participants other than Don, the timing can be completely flexible. You can arrive before dawn to join in the owling or you can come after breakfast, in the afternoon--whatever works for you. It is also a great outing for those with restricted mobility since everything takes place in a fixed spot. For those staying for any significant amount of time, we recommend bringing food and a chair, in addition to your binoculars. On October 8, with a rain date of October 9th. If bad weather is projected, be sure to check the birders listserve (to subscribe to the Birders mailing list, visit https://glc-lists.merit.edu/sympa/info/birders). This decision will be made by 4AM.

Saturday, May 14, the second Saturday of the month, dawned cold and wet. There were freezing conditions forecast, with gale force winds, and it was nearly so at 5 a.m. when my husband, Scott, and I set out from home to begin our Spring Migration count in Lodi Township. All over the county, birders were up early - obscenely early - to count birds. 91 birders, to be exact, 20 more than last year. All pitched in for a massive volunteer effort to count all the birds, all the species in our county.

We are looking for volunteers for our first ever Ann Arbor citywide Chimney Swift count, August 12-14, 2016. Watching Chimney Swifts enter their roosts at dusk is a spectacular sight. Volunteers will choose a known Chimney Swift roosting location and stake it out before dusk, counting the swifts as they enter the chimney, as darkness falls. You can sign up for one night/one location at a time, or count each night of the weekend. Chimney Swifts are in steep decline across North America, so let's help find out how they are doing in our city. Bring your friends along, to show them how these very cool aerial insectivores share our city with us. NOTE: Occasionally the swifts will not use a particular location on a given night due to a predator such as a Cooper's Hawk, or another issue. In that case, "no swifts" will still be good information for us! Email Juliet Berger with your results after the survey, and post it on eBird if you have an account.

Click here to sign up!

Our hardy group of nine Washtenaw Audubon birders braved a 25-degree windchill and heavy-at-times snow showers in search of spring migrants in the Arb. We lingered for a long time where ground litter obscured a Fox sparrow and Winter wren. Suddenly the Fox sparrow perched in the open where everyone had long and close looks; a Hermit thrush perched even closer displaying his profile and straight on. We met Andrew Pawluk at the boardwalk who put us onto a Winter wren.